nearly every character in existence but Playmates doesn't think they can make a dime off of classic interpretations of characters like Casey Jones, Shredder, April O'Neil, and Master Splinter? Perhaps they were too focused on the wildly successful Nickelodeon line and the then upcoming movie but eventually they did release movie versions of the four turtles in 2014. Now they've essentially just repackaged those four figures with more accessories and have released them as a Wal-Mart exclusive, just in time for the newest TMNT film. I skipped out on these figures the first go around, so I'm pretty excited to see them available again with cooler accessories and alternate portraits. I'll be reviewing the rest of the set early next week since I bought them all in one go but today I'm starting with Donatello, the brainiac of the group. Ready for a closer look at this new version of Donatello? Then join me after the break...
Height: 6 1/4 inches
Articulation: Hinged toes, swivel/hinge ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, swivel/hinge thumb, hinged fingers, and a ball jointed head.
Accessories: Bo staff, 4 interchangeable heads, mop, and foam bat.
Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars
* The tricky thing with the articulation on any TMNT figure is that the turtles themselves have torsos that are oversized and not necessarily designed for mobility. Mix that in with their crazy ninja antics and you have an interesting juxtaposition of two different design philosophies competing. Playmates has done an awesome job here with plentiful, useful articulation. These guys rival any figure as mass market and possibly surpass them. Incredible!
* I love the headsculpts on these. While these aren't insanely "movie specific" they definitely have a film feel. I really like the use of a separate piece of plastic for the bandanna over the eyes as it gives the figure a bit more of a layered feel, as does the belt. It's also a separate piece that, while not removable, helps the figure to seem just a but more intricate.
* Other than the heads and belts each turtle in this set shares the same body, which is just fine as the turtles don't really have very different builds in the film. Of course, as far as I can tell these are pretty much the exact same figures as the Classic Collection figures based on the original 1990 film which were released in 2014. Usually I'd be a bit peeved by this reuse but honestly it seems to work here. I'm sure there are differences between the costumes in the two films but it's not something I can identify easily off hand. Furthermore, these are decent sculpts. They're certainly not NECA quality or anything but they're definitely quality work for Playmates. I'm just glad that they didn't reuse the smoother cartoon based Classic Collection figures.
* Donatello just had to come with his bo staff, didn't he? It's a simple sculpt with a bit of wood detailing and some lighter brown paint on the handle, but that seems accurate to everything we see. This is a pretty fun weapon to pose Donnie using!
* The shell is really detailed. Not only is the pattern fairly intricate but there are also lots of little nicks and dents in it, too. The bulk and heft of the shell also seems appropriate for these film inspired turtles.
* I've always loved the brown pads and belts the guys wore in the films. There's just something cool about them and they look great here. They're separate pieces that, again, give the figure a bit more layered appearance, something I love.
* Because the fingers are all individually articulated, it takes a bit of finesse to securely place weapons in Donatello's hands. I remember this problem with the earlier cartoon inspired Classic Collection figures and I can't say I'm glad to see it return. It definitely seems to promote the idea that these are for display rather than play as the weapons can easily fall out of the hands when the figure is shifted. Just be patient and try different things out and you should make it work, though.
Collection Agency Brad and I will be discussing the current trend of high end 1/12th scale lines such as S.H. Figuarts, Mafex, Figma, and others. Take a look at those lines and the typical mass market collector lines like Star Wars Black, Marvel Legends, and DC Comics Multiverse: Which of those groupings does this line more resemble? I'm really leaning towards the higher end lines simply in terms of what's offered. Playmates has given collectors and TMNT fans a pretty great gift with these and me and the little one are having a blast (she loves the TMNT)! Donnie gets an Epic rating from me as he's quite possibly delivered the best value this year.
I've actually reviewed a few other Donatello figures from Playmate's current ongoing TMNT line: Mystic Donatello,
the Ninjas in Training: Leonardo & Donatello two pack, the kind of Ghostbusters looking Ooze Scoopin' Donnie, and the cool tactical gear clad Stealth Tech Donatello.
I'll be reviewing the rest of the figures in this series next week, so stay tuned for more turtle-tastic reviews!